Crust is an important part of the pizza experience. It’s probably the area of the pizza likely to be most heavily judged. I’ve made it from scratch (a little) and I’ve bought store-made bags of fresh dough. I’ve used canned varieties and the pizza gods know critiquing the quality of a restaurant-purchased pizza carries it’s own set of weighs and measures. But sometimes you just need an easy, good solution if you’re making it at home, hopefully one that will pan out to be pretty dang good in the process! This is where store-bought pre-made and cooked crust comes in.
I can’t remember how often I’ve talked about my near unnatural love for Stonefire’s naan flatbread. First of all, I love naan period and want to make it from scratch one day, but for now, rushed for time most work weeks, I have no problem picking up some at my grocery store’s deli. It soon became clear that it would be terrific for pizza not to mention quick and easy – the words that are practically my mantra for good tasting and (mostly) from-scratch cooking. Sometimes you just need one shortcut and store-bought flatbread is a pretty good one.
We’re doing two flatbread pizza recipes this week and today’s idea was found by Sis Blogging Partner and it is soooo good.
Is it possible to buy pre-roasted garlic? Chances are you’ll need to roast your own. It’s really easy, but it’s time-consuming. You’ll need to lop off the tops about an inch and wrap the exposed garlic heads, still in their papery wrappers, in aluminum foil. Drizzle the heads with a little olive oil first. Place it in a 350 degree oven for about 40 minutes to an hour. Your oven time might vary. It might vary a lot. The recipe I looked up said it would take 30 to 40 minutes. My oven was a little more stubborn.
After about 50 minutes, this is what I popped out of those paper-like shells. It’s not the most roasted of garlic, but I was happy with some of it still being a tad bit firm so that we got some meatier bites of garlic in the pizza as well.
Homemade pizza normally requires a lot of prep work. Personally, I didn’t think this one was too bad. For the chicken, we cooked it in the microwave this time, plain, and shredded it after it cooled. It was an easy 10 or so minutes in the microwave for two chicken breasts, flipping them once or twice.
As for the other ingredients, that’s them above. Onion and herb chopping are easy peasy.
The sauce is a white sauce and it’s your standard béchamel deal. Whic only means that it’s going to be all things yum and delicious! Love béchamel, I do. This one is cheesed up with some fresh-grated Parmesan.
The roasted garlic was part of the sauce, and some of it was soft enough to incorporate with the liquid, but you can see we still had some nice, sweet chunks of roasted garlic as well. YUM.
On goes the cooked chicken. It’ll get its own pleasant flavor after crisping in the oven a little.
After the chicken, the red onions get their time and then – a nice helping of cheeseeeeeese!
The herbs are held till the pizza is done. The heat wilts them just enough to release all their goodness.
And so, your incredibly delicious, little flatbread pizza is born! And soon to be demolished in your hungry jaws. Or, you know, lovingly appreciated, as it were. The flatbread turned out to be just as good as we hoped for a crust. This particular one wasn’t as crisp on the bottom as I thought it might get, but it still had a nice crispness on the outer edges and it wasn’t too soft elsewhere. The recipe we were inspired to try with the chicken, sauce and herbs is killer. It’s a classic pizza style for a very good reason! Definitely a running choice from here on out in our kitchen.
Roasted Garlic, Chicken & Herb Flatbread Pizza
1 package pre-cooked naan flatbread (contains two pieces) or other flatbread
1 tablespoon butter
8 cloves roasted garlic, minced
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 cup low-fat milk
1/4 cup half and half
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
1 1/2 cup boneless skinless chicken breast, cooked and shredded
1/2 cup red onion, diced
1 cup Mozzarella cheese
1 teaspoon fresh thyme, chopped
½ teaspoon dried oregano
1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped
Preheat oven to 400°.
Melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add garlic; cook 30 seconds, stirring constantly. Add flour and pepper; cook 1 minute, stirring constantly with a whisk. Gradually whisk in the milk and half and half. Cook 3 minutes or until thick and bubbly, whisking constantly. Remove from heat; add the Parmesan cheese, stirring until cheese melts.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat; place flatbreads onto baking sheet. Spread white sauce over each flatbread, leaving a 1/2-inch border. Top with the chicken, onion and mozarella. Bake at 400° on middle oven rack for 10-12 minutes or until crust is golden. Sprinkle with herbs.
See the above commentary on how to roast your garlic if you’re not familiar with it.
Naan happens to be my favorite flatbread and directions on heating it in the oven and other recipes for the particular brand we used (Stonefire) called for an oven temperature of 400 degrees. If you use a different kind of pre-made crust just be sure to see what its directions recommends for oven baking.
The ingredients above reflect the original recipe. We did double it thinking we might need more since we were doing two smaller pizzas instead of one bigger (I’m not sure where my doubling logic came from), but we’d have had plenty with just the measurements you see above. As is, we ended up having enough topping ingredients left for a couple more small pizzas, so yay!